"He left his mark on the media landscape in Senegal and beyond," sums up right from the site seneplus.com in tribute to the great patron of the press that was Babacar Touré, who passed away on Sunday, July 26 at the age of 69 years as a result of illness. Since the official announcement of his death, the testimonies are pouring in and they are unanimous : "A monument of the press collapses ", title Walf Daily. "The african press, in particular senegalese, lost one of their monuments which has etched his name in the annals of pluralism in the media," says The Sun. "A giant has fallen" for the ACE. But that was Babacar Touré ?
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Pioneer of the independent press
Born in 1951 in Fatick in central Senegal, Babacar Touré, or " BT " as called him his closest friends, had founded and chaired the private group Sud Communication in 1985. "He then began to publish the newspaper Southern Weekly, which will become South Daily later ", - informs the news Agency, the senegalese APS.
But this is not all. Babacar Touré, a graduate student in sociology, political science, journalism and communication, and holds a Certificate of mastery of English language, was passed by the benches of the French press Institute, then at the Centre of development communicators in africa from the University of Montreal, Canada Michigan State University and the university of Kansas in the United States. He started worked at the daily Sun before continuing his studies in the United States of America, where he went on to integrate the NGO Enda Third-World, informs the news Agency, the senegalese APS.
Behind the journalist, a tireless defender of democracy
The higher Institute of information sciences and communication, a school for journalists located in Dakar, is also a creation of his media group. For Abdoulaye Bathily, historian and politician from senegal, beyond having been a journalist and a voice that counted, Babacar Touré has also played its partition in the " struggle for democracy ". "With the Southern Group, he was the pioneer of the independent press and a professional whose example radiated in many countries of the continent, breaking the monopoly of the immediate State, the citadels of the single thought and intolerance ", he said to the local media. In fact, we learn after his death that he had taken on an intermediary role in the major political conflicts in his country, pleading, in particular the cause of the former president Abdoulaye Wade when the latter was sent to prison by Abdou Diouf. Babacar Touré has also been the advisor of the guinean president Alpha Condé, and that it has enjoyed since the years when the latter was in the opposition.
For the defender of human rights, Alioune Tine, " the death of Babacar Touré is a big loss for Senegal, and Africa, their political leader and intellectual, a humanist absolute with a narrative identity unique, gifted of all the talents ". "We share the sorrow of the group Sud communication, the sadness of all the press. Babacar Touré was a true visionary, a practical intelligence in a perpetual state of arousal. One of the promoters of democracy in Africa ", he responded on his Twitter page. On this same network, the head of State Macky Sall has presented its condolences to the group South and to the press and to the family of the deceased in these terms : "a veteran Journalist and a pioneer in the business press and training of journalists, a man of consensus and dialogue, Babacar Touré has been fighting for freedom and democracy. "
Babacar Touré was subsequently appointed head of the national Council of regulation of audiovisual media (CNRA), in addition to exercising many of the functions in institutions of senegal, africa and outside the continent as " a member of the board of directors of the Panos Institute, the College of african advisers of the world Bank, and co-chair of the ministerial Conference on Africa and the United States, with Madeleine Albright, former american secretary of State ", details yet the APS.